Georgia Marriage Laws

Written and edited for accuracy by the Georgia marriage law researchers at the Universal Life Church on

Georgia has many state-specific laws governing the marriage and the performance of marriage ceremonies. We have gathered together all of that pertinent legal information into one convenient place for anyone who is looking to get married or officiate a wedding in Georgia. We cover all the essential topics including marriage licenses, ceremonies, and paperwork to make sure the wedding is legally recognized.

Requirements for the Minister

Min. Age of Minister:
Age 18
Not Required
Document(s) Required:
Varies by County
Online Ordination Recognized:
Relevant Office of Registration:
County Clerk
Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
After the Ceremony
Minister I.D. # Issued:

A minister performing a wedding in Georgia must be at least 18-years-old. They do not need to be a resident of the state, however, to officiate a wedding.

There is no statewide registration process, but individual counties may ask to see documentation from the minister prior to the ceremony. After getting ordained online, ULC ministers should check with the office that issued the marriage license to verify if they need to provide anything. It is a good idea for the minister to keep a copy of their ordination credential in their records in the case anyone asks to see proof of ordination.

Wedding Ceremony Requirements

Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
Minister Required to be Present:

All legally relevant parties must be present for the ceremony with no exceptions. Proxy weddings are not allowed in Georgia. Two witnesses are required to sign the marriage license, along with the couple and the officiant.

There are two legally required portions of the wedding ceremony that need to be included. Those are the proclamation of consent, commonly known as the “I do” exchange, and the pronouncement which is usually when the minister says “I now pronounce you married”. Other than these two elements, the wording of the actual ceremony can be adapted to the needs and preferences of the couple.

Marriage License Requirements

Min. Age of Witnesses:
Couple's Consent Required:
Pronouncement Required:

The couple is required to go in-person to pick up the marriage license application from the County Clerk’s office. When they arrive they will be required to present proof of age. Acceptable forms of identification in Georgia include: A birth certificate, driver's license, baptismal certificate, certificate of birth registration, selective service card, court record, passport, immigration papers, alien papers, citizenship papers, armed forces discharge papers, armed forces identification card, or hospital admission card containing the full name and date of birth.

The cost of the license varies by the county that you have it issued in, but there are no residency requirements.

If the couple are in-state residents, they can go to any county clerk to have the license issued and it will be good for a wedding taking place in any county in Georgia. If both members of the couple are not residents of Georgia they will need to obtain the marriage license from the office in the county where the wedding will physically take place.

The clerk may also require proof of divorce if applicable. This means it would be a good idea to either check with the clerk, by phone on their web page to check the county rules before going to get the license. Alternatively you can just bring the official divorce decree proving that it has been finalized in the case that they would like to see it. The more recently the divorce has been finalized, the more likely it is they will want to see your paperwork.

Premarital blood test results are no longer required in the State of Georgia.

Marriage License Facts

ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
Mandatory Waiting Period:
License Valid For:
Varies by County
License Must Be Submitted:
Within 30 Days of Ceremony

If there is a choice between a marriage certificate for a “religious” or a “civil” marriage, the couple should select the “religious” ceremony license. This is because the authority of a Universal Life Church minister is granted by the church in a religious capacity. This is the case regardless of whether the couple decides to include religious elements in the ceremony or not.

If you are wanting to get married right away, the rules in Georgia are in your favor because they do not have a waiting period after the application is turned in. The marriage license will be issued immediately and the couple will be able to, in theory, get the license and hold the ceremony on the very same day.

The amount of time that the license stays valid after it is issued varies from county to county in Georgia. Some counties do not have an expiration at all.

Once the wedding takes place, the license needs to be returned to the issuing office within 30 days to be recorded. After 30 days the license will no longer be valid, so make sure to get it in before the date cut off.

Requirements for the Couple

Min. Age of Couple:
Age 18 or Age 17 with Proof of Emancipation
Not Required
Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
First Cousins
Marriage Equality:

Georgia only allows adults age 18, or minors age 17 with proof of parental emancipation to legally marry.

In Georgia, there is no residency requirement, but if both members of the couple are from out-of-state, the marriage license needs to be obtained in the county where the marriage is going to take place.

Georgia follows all US states in honoring marriage equality for same-sex partners wanting to get married.

Final Steps

Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
Church/Ordaining Body:
Universal Life Church Ministries
Address of Church:
Minister's Home Address

If you are the wedding officiant, there are a few final details that you will need to make sure get taken care of after the wedding ceremony takes place. There is a part of the marriage license that is to be filled out by the officiant. Make sure you give only the full legal name, without any titles when it asks for your name. In the box that asks for the title, please put “minister”. If the license asks for the address of the minister’s church, please give your home address in case they would like to contact you.

Double check that the license is fully filled out without errors. Make sure all required persons sign after the ceremony. Any errors can potentially result in the costly reissuance of the license.

We always recommend that our ministers performing weddings keep records. They do not need to transmit these records to headquarters, but it is a good idea to have a personal file in the case that any questions arise in the future. This is especially the case if the minister is being paid for their services.

Interested in Performing a Georgia wedding?

Be a GA Wedding Officiant

Are you Considering Becoming a Minister in Georgia?

See the Steps to GA Ordination

Proceed to your Ordination Application

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